The publication highlighted New Zealand's rolling green hills, majestic mountains, breath-taking fiords and amazing diversity of landscape from one island to the next as the reason for its high rating.
The travel guide also wrote that you never meet anyone who has been and didn't love the place, as well as praising the distinct and fascinating culture of the indigenous Maori people.
Known locally as Aotearoa – land of the long, white cloud – New Zealand is comprised of two main islands, is home to a population of roughly 4.6 million people and sits a 3 hour flight south-east of Australia. And I am lucky enough to be one of those 4.6 million people!
Sitting literally nearly at the bottom the world, and surrounded by the stunning Pacific Ocean, New Zealand takes a bit of an effort to reach but once here, visitors will be glad they bit the bullet and weren’t put off by the long travel time.
You will find that travelling as a family here in New Zealand is easy and rewarding, especially if you enjoy the outdoors and are keen to interact with the locals.
From lush rainforest filled with native bird life, picturesque vineyards, bubbling thermal pools, indigenous Māori culture and stunning golden sand beaches in the North Island to fiords, glaciers, spectacular mountain ranges and volcanic black sand beaches dotted with drift wood in the South Island, New Zealand has something that will inspire and delight any visitor.
But it’s not just the landscape that stays in visitors’ minds long after they have finished their holidays here – it is also the people.
Our indigenous Māori culture provides the foundation for this warm welcome – we call it manaakitanga – and our Maori heritage continues to be central to our current way of life.
Captain Cook may have been the first westerner to discover New Zealand, but the Māori people had been inhabiting this land for a long time before his ship arrived on their shores. You will find that most place names are in Māori, along with the use of many words in our everyday language – Te Reo Maori has equal status alongside English as official languages of New Zealand. Visitors can still experience traditional Maori culture in displays and shows throughout the country and even visit a marae, or meeting ground; the focal point of Māori communities throughout New Zealand
The dining out culture has well and truly found its way to New Zealand and there are plenty of establishments to choose from nationwide, ranging from the laid-back café to the 5 star restaurant. Top the great food with world-class, award winning, local wine and craft beers and you will certainly have no problems feasting your way around the country.
New Zealand is also renowned for its outdoor activities - from the extreme such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and mountaineering, to the more sedate such as horse riding, whale watching and some of the most picturesque trail walks on the planet, you will find a wealth of activities that you and your family can enjoy.
The best advice I can give you, however, is to allow an adequate amount of time to visit this spectacular country. It may look small on the world map, but the huge diversity of landscape, activities and attractions, coupled with winding roads and the many opportunities to get off the main highways and explore the lesser known areas, means that you will always leave wishing you had been able to stay for longer!